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Today in Arizona History

August 28, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — Sunday, Sept. 1

On this date in 1865, the first public mail to reach Tucson since the beginning of the Civil War arrived from California.

On this date in 1876, Dr. Nelson Bledsoe, former chief surgeon of the Calumet and Arizona Mining Co. at Bisbee and for many years a practicing physician in Southern Arizona, was born.

On this date in 1894, a cloudburst in the Graham Mountains swept Willcox with 2 feet (0.6 meter) of water, causing the adobe buildings in town to crumble away.

On this date in 1921, detachments of U.S. troops from Camp Stephen D. Little were ordered stationed at Ruby, Ariz. following the murder of the Ruby postmaster and his wife there.

On this date in 1932, fire on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon destroyed the main dining room and cottages valued at more than $500,000.

Monday, Sept. 2

On this date in 1895, an ad in the Phoenix Daily Herald stated that “good meat is the basis of civilization. A man whose arteries and veins are filled with rich blood made with choice meats from Hurley’s Central Market has pluck, courage, endurance and noble impulses.”

On this date in 1896, the Phoenix Gazette announced the death of Judge J.T. Fitzgerald of Solomonville. Judge Fitzgerald arrived in Arizona in 1878 and was the founder of the newspaper the Clifton Clarion.

On this date in 1898, Wilford Woodruff, president of the Mormon Church, died in San Francisco at the age of 91.

On this date in 1921, grading of the new athletic field at the University of Arizona was completed and tentative plans for a new gum were under consideration.

On this date in 1929, a new $50,000 steel bridge was opened over the San Pedro River at St. David.

Tuesday, Sept. 3

On this date in 1852, the schooner “Capacity” reached the mouth of the Colorado River and unloaded a steam engine, boiler and lumber for the construction of a river steamer.

On this date in 1877, Ed Schieffelin recorded his claim to the “Tombstone Mine” in the Territorial courthouse in Tucson.

On this date in 1929, George Truman, state senator from Pinal County, died in San Francisco. Truman had been a Rough Rider, deputy sheriff, assessor, treasurer and member of the Board of Supervisors for Pinal County.

On this date in 1934, a crowd of 10,000 people visited Chiricahua National Monument to witness ceremonies opening the new scenic highway through the Wonderland of Rocks.

On this date in 1997, Gov. Fife Symington resigns after being convicted of federal bank fraud charges stemming from his bankrupt real estate empire. The conviction was later overturned and Symington was pardoned by President Clinton in 2001.

Wednesday, Sept. 4

On this date in 1857, Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale arrived at the Colorado River approximately 125 miles (201 kilometers) above Needles after surveying a wagon road along the 35th parallel from Fort Defiance. Beale experimented with the use of camels on his expedition.

On this date in 1886, the Geronimo surrender conference was held in Skeleton Canyon near the present city of Douglas.

On this date in 1887, when Sheriff Commodore Perry Owens of Apache County went to the Blevins house in Holbrook to serve a warrant on Andy Blevins, he found himself involved in a gunfight with five armed outlaws inside the house. Owens killed two of the five and wounded two.

On this date in 1921, August Ealey, a miner working a silver claim near Redington, reported finding a “burial ground of a race of giants.”

On this date in 1924, the first Arizona Indian cast his ballot under the provisions of an act of Congress granting citizenship to American Indians.

Thursday, Sept. 5

On this date in 1865, Sonora Gov. Ingacia Pesqueira crossed the border to elude capture by Imperialist troops. He made his headquarters at Tubac which became the capitol of Sonora for some months thereafter.

On this date in 1872, the first public school in Phoenix opened on First Avenue just south of Washington Street.

On this date in 1905, a cloudburst in the Grante Mountains caused floods which swept away cattle, sheep and chickens in Williamson and Skull Valley.

On this date in 1931, Pima County accused Maricopa County with giving eastbound, indigent travelers enough gasoline to get them to Tucson. Maricopa County denied the allegation.

On this date in 1970, Mesa law enforcement agent Gilbert Duthie was killed when his patrol car ran off the highway and into Sycamore Creek as he attempted to assess flood damage. The former Beeline Highway is now named after Duthie and another officer killed in the line of duty.

Friday, Sept. 6

On this date in 1891, the city of Tucson sprinkled 17,000 gallons (64,350 liters) of water daily on downtown streets to settle the dust.

On this date in 1898, a tornado unroofed several homes in Casa Grande, causing one death.

On this date in 1911, a fire destroyed one wing of the state asylum in Phoenix. The militia was called out to evacuate and guard 160 patients.

On this date in 1911, the Inspector of Weights and Measures found that 30 out of 33 scales in Tucson were giving short weight.

On this date in 1932, the Northern Arizona State Teachers College in Flagstaff decided to accept hay, potatoes, eggs, oats or anything else man could eat in lieu of cash from students for room and board and books.

On this date in 2006, Phoenix police arrested construction worker Mark Goudeau in the sexual assault of two sisters. The arrest led to Goudeau being charged in the killing of nine people in the so-called Baseline Killer case that terrorized the Phoenix area during the summer.

Saturday, Sept. 7

On this date in 1865, Camp McDowell was established by five companies of the California Volunteers and named after Major General Irwin McDowell.

On this date in 1868, one of the worst rains ever recorded in southern Arizona began and continued until Sept. 11. The Gila River swelled to more than 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) in width, destroying everything in its path. Tucson’s new courthouse, completed only a few months earlier, was seriously damaged, with its walls split and roof leaking.

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